Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 29, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. and i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight, candidates set their sights on wisconsin. ted cruz gets a critical endorsement, while bernie sanders aims to continue his winning streak. >> ifill: also ahead this tuesday, iraqi christians flee in staggering numbers as isis's grip tightens, but a small militia group is planning to fight back. >> ( translated ): now we have only one unit. we need the help of the kurds. we have to increase our numbers. if we have enough forces we can protect the christians in this ninevah area. >> woodruff: and, from group homes to dorm rooms: how one foster care student beats the odds and wants to help others do the same. >> these kids will be driven
6:01 pm
because they want to make a name for themselves. you know foster care and the group homes and foster homes are gold mines for our nation. >> ifill: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fathom travel. carnival corporation's small ship line. offering seven day cruises to three cities in cuba. exploring the culture, cuisine and historic sites through its people. more at fathom.org. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future.
6:02 pm
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: a crucial endorsement, a criminal charge, a critical contest. it was all the stuff of another long and sometimes strange day in the presidential campaign of 2016. all five major presidential candidates descended on wisconsin today, the site of the primary season's next big contest. governor scott walker, who briefly sought the republican nomination himself last year, delivered his in-demand endorsement to one of the men attempting to knock off frontrunner donald trump. >> i just really decided after
6:03 pm
all these years of the obama- clinton failures that it's time that we elect a strong new leader. and i have chosen to endorse ted cruz. ted cruz is the best positioned by far to both win the nomination of the republican party and to then go on to defeat hillary clinton in the fall this year. >> ifill: cruz, in turn, launched another round of criticism at trump, this time pegged to news that trump campaign manager corey lewandowski was charged today with assaulting a reporter after a press conference earlier this month. >> when you have a campaign that is built on personal insults and attacks, and now physical violence- that has no place in a political campaign, that has no place in our democracy. i think it is an unfortunate development, but i do think it helps clarify for the voters what the trump campaign is all about. >> ifill: trump's campaign maintained that lewandowski "is
6:04 pm
absolutely innocent of this charge" and denied that a tape released by the jupiter, florida police department showed him grabbing reporter michelle fields. later in the day, trump appeared in house speaker paul ryan's hometown of janesville. >> if you look at it, according to a lot of people, she's grabbing at me and he's acting as an intermediary and trying to balk her from doing that. the news conference was over. it was done. it was finished. and she was running up and grabbing and asking questions, and she wasn't supposed to be doing that. recent wisconsin polling shows trump, cruz and ohio governor john kasich in a statistical tie. kasich, who held a town hall in waukesha this afternoon, says he is the strongest candidate for the fall. >> i'm the only one that consistently beats hillary clinton. nobody else consistently beats her. i beat her by 11 points in the last poll. so that's probably going to matter: "who is it that can win?"
6:05 pm
i think that's why we're having a primaries. >> ifill: democrats hillary clinton and bernie sanders are also in a tight race. clinton focused today on gun violence prevention in milwaukee, a city that has seen increasing rates of gun deaths. >> this needs to be a voting issue. not number 20 list, but number one the list especially in zip codes like this one. every child deserves to have a healthy, happy life regardless of the zip code he or she lives in. let's be committed to doing everything we can, in our own ways, to end this epidemic. >> ifill: in appleton, wisconsin sanders' increasingly sharp criticism of clinton escalated again today, as he seeks to paint her as out of touch. >> i'm not wasting my time going to rich people's homes begging
6:06 pm
them for campaign contributions. i'd rather be here with you in appleton than begging billionaires for their money. this is one of the real differences of opinion secretary clinton and i have, is how we've chosen to raise the money we need to run our campaigns. >> ifill: with 42 republican and 86 democratic delegates up for grabs, the candidates plan to blanket the state between now and next tuesday. we'll begin a series of discussions on key issues in the presidential race, later in the program. in the day's other news, u.s. officials ordered families of american diplomats and military personnel to leave parts of turkey. the order covers the u.s. consulate in adana plus incirlik air base, and two military sites in western cities.
6:07 pm
in washington, pentagon spokesman peter cook cited ongoing "security concerns," without giving details. >> this was a decision made out of an abundance of caution, given the overall picture, the security threats that-- that we looked at in the region. there's no specific threat that triggered this, but a broader decision based on what we've seen in the region. >> woodruff: officials also restricted official travel in turkey, and updated an existing warning on travel in general. >> ifill: in pakistan, authorities report they're holding more than 200 suspects in the wake of sunday's suicide bombing in lahore. they say they rounded up, and then released, 5,000 others. a taliban faction claimed responsibility for the attack, aimed at christians celebrating easter. >> woodruff: an egyptian man hijacked a jetliner on a domestic flight today and forced it to fly to cyprus. over the next hours, he let most of the passengers go, then
6:08 pm
finally, gave himself up. diane magnay of independent television news has our report. >> reporter: egyptair flight 181, eight hostages left on board eight hours into this crisis. three men raced down the steps and cypriot security forces run toward the plane. then this remarkable image, one man scrambles from the cockpit window and flings down the side of the aircraft in what looks like a practiced move. then moments later it's over. the man thought to be the hijacker stumbles almost as heçó leaves the plane and then walks very casually toward waiting security forces. he's been named as an egyptian national, pictured here in a bizarre selfie with a british passenger thought to be from aberdeen. in this photo, the belts he claimed was packed with explosives is on clear display. it was later found to be fake,
6:09 pm
just a collection of mobile phone covers. and cyprus' president didn't seem too worried either, making light of earlier media reports that the hijacker had asked to see his cypriot ex-wife. "isn't everything always about a woman," he replied. but that this man could make it through security and divert a major airliner without even a weapon is clearly no laughing matter. particularly not for egypt five months after the downing of the russian flight in sinai with major concerns over airport security still overshadowing its tourism industry. >> woodruff: egyptian authorities said eight americans were among the foreigners on board the flight. >> ifill: the united nations children's agency warned today that more than 300,000 children in yemen face malnutrition and famine. unicef also said all sides in the year-old war have forced children to fight as soldiers. and it said millions of yemenis lack access to water and health care.
6:10 pm
>> woodruff: back in this country, the white house announced a new effort to stop the epidemic of addiction to opioid painkillers and heroin. president obama attended a summit on the problem in atlanta. he said he wants to double the number of addicts who get medication for their problem. >> the most important thing we can do is reduce the demand for drugs and the only way we reduce demand is if we're providing treatment and thinking about this as a public health problem and not just a criminal problem. >> woodruff: also today, 60 medical schools announced greater focus on limiting the use of opioid painkillers. >> ifill: there's a new twist in the battle over a transgender law in north carolina which bars local governments from allowing transgender bathrooms and other accommodations. state attorney general roy cooper, a democrat, announced today he won't defend the statute in court.
6:11 pm
he called it a "national embarrassment." republican governor pat mccrory signed the law last week. >> woodruff: illinois republican mark kirk met today with supreme court nominee merrick garland, the first g.o.p. senator to do so. he praised the judge and criticized colleagues who've refused to meet with him, or hold confirmation hearings. >> i think when you just say i'm not going to meet him that's too closed minded. we need for rational, adult, open minded consideration of the constitutional process which judge garland is a part of. >> woodruff: kirk is facing a tough re-election fight in a democratic- leaning state. on wall street, stocks rallied after federal reserve chair janet yellen reaffirmed a go- slow approach on interest rates. the dow jones industrial average gained more than 97 points to close at 17,633. the nasdaq rose nearly 80 points. and the s&p 500 added 18.
6:12 pm
>> woodruff: and, actress patty duke died today in coeur d'alene, idaho, of an intestinal infection. as a teen-ager, duke won an oscar as helen keller in 1962's "the miracle worker." and in the mid-1960's, she played identical twins in "the patty duke show" on tv. later, she became an advocate for mental health. patty duke was 69 years old. >> ifill: still to come on the newshour: the supreme court's first major split decision since justice scalia's death. the d.o.j. cracks an iphone and reignites privacy concerns. facing isis, iraqi christians must decide to flee or fight. and much more. >> woodruff: we turn now to the supreme court, where today's 4-4 split was an unlikely win for
6:13 pm
unions, and a stark example of the impact of justice scalia's death. for more on today's highly anticipated decision, and the new dynamics of the divided court, we are joined by marcia coyle, chief washington correspondent for the "national law journal." welcome back, marcia. actually, two interesting developmentses at the court today, but first let's start with the labor union case. remind us of the arguments on each side. this took place when justice scalia was still alive. >> that's correct. the arguments were heard earlier this year. the case was brought by a group of california public schoolteachers who were not members of the public employee union in california. they claimed that having to pay what are called "agency fees" or "fair share" fees to the union that actually is required by law to represent all of the public school teachers violated the teachers' first amendment speech and association rights. during the oral argument, judy,
6:14 pm
it appeared that the court was going to rule for the teachers. it looked like the decision might well have been 5-4 with the five conservative justices in the majority and needing justice scalia to make that majority. >> woodruff: so today we learned the court is divided. the eight justices on the court are divided. one-line statement. >> a very common way they handle 4-4 ties or splits. it's called an unsigned decision in which the courtesy. ly states the decision below is affirm by an equally divided court. we don't know who voted how. >> woodruff: this means what? >> it means agency shop fees are constitutional in this country under a 40-year-old supreme court decision. it doesn't mean the end of the issue. there are other challenges pending in the lower courts, so
6:15 pm
it may be a temporary victory for the union. >> woodruff: but, marcia, can we presume as long as there is not a 9th justice who is confirm and sitting on the court that there would very well be more 4-4, evenly split decisions? >> i think so, judy. you never know for sure, but i think the second thing that happened today is an example of how the court is struggling to resolve some of these very difficult high-profile issues it has before it. >> woodruff: we learned that the court is asking for another briefing on this affordable care act contraceptive case. >> that's right. this was a challenge brought by a number of religiousçó non-profits that claim that notifying the government that they object to contraceptive health insurance for their employees because it requires them to notify the government of who their insurer is, makes them complicit in are voiding the insurance in violation of their religious beliefs. the court's order today really
6:16 pm
kind of reflecteds the arguments we heard last week in that you had several justices, the chief justice, justices kennedyñi and alito sort of accepting the charge that the government is hijacking the religious non-profit's insurance plans and the more liberal justices accepting the government's argument, there is no hijacking. there's probably no accommodation that would be acceptable to these non-profits. so the court has asked both sides to suggest alternatives that would not involve the religious non-profits in making any kind of notification to the government but still providing the insurance through the insurance plan. >> woodruff: so it looks like they're looking for some middle ground. >> it does. the court does in the like to divide 4-4, because it does not resolve the question and in this case it would leave theñi law uneven throughout the country. >> woodruff: the eight-member court working its way through
6:17 pm
these cases. >> definitely. >> woodruff: marcia coyle, thank you. >> my pleasure, judy. >> ifill: a pitched battle between the obama justice department and one of the world's biggest tech companies appeared to end abruptly this week when the government decided to drop its insistence that apple crack the code for an iphone used in the san bernardino shootings. apple had refused, insisting such cooperation would constitute a major breach of privacy. the impending standoff ended yesterday when the government announced it had been able to crack the phone after all, without apple's help. but questions remain. for that, we turn to devlin barrett, who covers the justice department for the "wall street journal," and fred kaplan, a columnist with slate. he's the author of, "the dark territory: the secret history of
6:18 pm
cyber war." devlin, starting with you, did one or the other of the parties in this case back away, just back up? >> the government backed away. the government said... but it also got what it wanted in a sense because it got into the phone it had been trying to get into for months. i think what you saw happen was that the government spent two months saying it can't get into this phone without apple, and then at the last minute essentially it said, actually, someone has just come to us and told us that we can get into it without apple, and that's what happened. >> ifill: fred kaplan, the obvious question for so many of us is who broke into the phone for them, and how did they find them, and would they have been able to find them before without all of this legal mishmash? >> it seems to be a israeli cyber security firm which consists mainly of retired professionals from unit 822, which is the cyber warfare branch of the israeli intelligence agency, sort of the
6:19 pm
israeli n.s.a. you can imagine, here's the f.b.i. saying, we can't break into this phone. here's apple saying, we don't want anybody to break into this phone. this is the most secure phone out there. you've got hundreds, maybe thousands of hackers around the world who lothis and say, hmm, let me give this a try. and, you know, the law that the f.b.i. was invoking to get apple to open it themselves, which is a 1789 law called the orel ritz act, states that if somebody else can do it, if you can find some way to do it without demanding that a company like apple do it, then you have to drop your suit. and that's why the f.b.i. withdrew. they had. to they really didn't want to. they thought they had a good case here and were ultimately trying to test a new legal principle to accommodate for this new stronger era of encryption. >> ifill: devlin, let's pick up on that because if indeed there is another way the hack
6:20 pm
into phones like this, apple's argument had been there's a slippery slope here, and if we agree to do this, then we'll have to do it in the future. it's a slippery slope still in place? >> the legal argument is still unresolved, and the battle will go on. the war will go on even if the battle ends on this phone. there is from a technologist's point of view, a real issue, if you deal with the government once, there will always be more vulnerabilities to systems than technologists would like to see. the government's argument is, you should not have devices that are warrant-proof, that even with a judge's order we can't, meaning the government, can't get into and can't look at and can't see if there is evidence of a crime in those devices. >> ifill: they didn't have... they weren't able to set that legal precedent that they were seeking. >> no, but there's ever reason to expect that there will be another phone with a similar issue very soon. there's already a bunch of other phones on lesser cases that are
6:21 pm
in dispute right now. everyone expects this fight will only continue. >> ifill: let's talk about other case, fred kaplan there is a drug case in brooklyn where we're expecting in a couple weeks if not sooner to hear about whether the government can get access to that phone. >> yeah. there are several drug cases like that. you know, local law enforcement agencies, they don't know how to hack into these folks. -- phones. the f.b.i. alone doesn't know how. if this phone had... if there were some reason to believe this phone had truly urge material on it that the government had to get hold of for national security purpose, the f.b.i. could have put in a request for technical assistance to the national security agency, which would have been able to open up this phone. things like that have happened before. the fact that the f.b.i. did not do this suggests to me that the issue wasn't the phone, but they were trying to create a new legal precedent. >> ifill: what do you think
6:22 pm
about that, devlin barrett? >> the f.b.i. has denied that the government had any answers on this. now, i think fred and a lot of other people are incredibly sceptical of that explanation. i think one of the big tests of this case has been f.b.i.'s credibility, because some of what they said has been contradicted by other things they've said. so it will be interesting to see going forward, you know, washington and silicon valley have a very tense relationship right now. it will be interesting to see how this affects that relationship, worsens it probably. >> ifill: what about apple's credibility. there was a real argument to be made that apple was being difficult. >> right. plenty of folks in government believe that what apple is arguing is ultimately a bad thing for society. you know, there are, as fred said, outstanding cases all over the country where prosecutors and detectives can't get into phones. plenty of people say that's in the a good outcome. there should be a better solution to. this do you really want a situation where if someone you love is murdered and the evidence of that crime may be on the victim's phone, you can't
6:23 pm
even get into the victim's phone. that's the argument against what apple has been saying. >> ifill: fred kaplan, what if this were a smaller company, not the all-powerful apple, a smaller tech company with a similar request being made, do you think it's possible it would have had the same outcome? >> look, in previous cases, apple has agreed to unlock phones about 70 times, usually under fight-the-court orders. in this instance i'm told that it could have quietly done something to give the f.b.i. the information that would not have opened up all of their phones to vulnerabilities that would not have required them to write a whole new operating system. i'm not sure of that. the thing is, there has been an almost century-long history of telecoms cooperating with intelligence agencies going back to western union, at&t and
6:24 pm
continuing into the internet age today. apple is a bit more libertarian in its attitudes than some of the other companies. the f.b.i. was trying to sustain this arrangement where companies do cooperate. apple is trying to create a new road to go out on. i think you're right, this conflict is not over. there will be another case at some point. the courts are going to have to decide about this. all of these cases were based on laws written long before the age of cell phones and digital technology. >> ifill: right. >> it will be very interesting to see how the law ends up on this. there's no... everything is ambiguous. eiffel i'll well, perhaps congress will weigh in, as well. fred kaplan, devlin barrett, thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you.
6:25 pm
>> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: where candidates stand on immigration and how it's impacting voters. a young man in foster care tries to beat the odds. and how race plays into the heroin crisis. but first, iraq's christians have fled the country in startling numbers since the u.s. invasion in 2003. that exodus has been accelerated by the isis onslaught over the last two years. now some are standing their ground to fight back. special correspondent jane ferguson reports from erbil and the nineveh plain, in northern iraq. >> reporter: iraqi christians celebrate easter's holy week, a time of re-birth, hope, salvation. but many here see little hope in their ancestral lands. they have fled isis's grip for
6:26 pm
the nearby safety of erbil city, and they have no idea if they can ever go home. father douglas bazi has worked to raise awareness around the world of the plight of iraq's christians. yet even he understands why most choose to leave a nation they struggle to feel a part of. >> the big problem here is when the christians are feeling that we are not belong to this land again, anymore. with this feeling, i am not feeling that i belong to iraq. i am not feeling why i am here. why should i be targeted every time. and don't, please, don't blame my people when they because always they say 'oh it's a shame, the middle east without christians, it's really shame the christians they are leaving.' so why you put shame on my people. why you are not put shame to those actually who force people to leave.
6:27 pm
>> reporter: the number of christians in the middle east has fallen from 14% of the population in 1910 to 4% in 2010. before 2003, there were around 1.5 million christians in iraq. now, it is believed less than 200,000 remain. and many of those have been displaced from their villages, by the islamic state. these christians fled their town as isis fighters approached, losing everything they've ever known in just a few, terrifying hours. now they live in father douglas's church yard. they cannot go home, but have nowhere else to go. compared to many refugees in this war, they are lucky. the global christian community is supporting them, and some have been offered new lives in europe. but hekmat peter doesn't just want to go home. he wants to go back in time, to when neighbors lived in harmony.
6:28 pm
>> ( translated ): we don't want a place for christian people only, but like we used to live. karokosh was surrounded by 30 villages of muslims. so we want to live together in peace. we lived like that for many years. >> reporter: fighting back will not solve the problem either, says father douglas. he believes resolutely that christians should never take up arms against their attackers. >> we don't believe in war at all. we don't believe that the rights should be taken by weapon. and actually as a christian we don't have militia belonging to the christian, so as a christian we don't have a militia. those people, if they want to go to the military and to serve there and be paid this is their choice. we are never giving a blessing to war. >> reporter: these men disagree. they are christians who have come together into a small band of soldiers, coached by
6:29 pm
americans and local kurdish fighters called the peshmerga. they named themselves the ninevah plains forces, after this area north of mosul where many christian villages were attacked. with less than 300 men fighting, their presence here is almost entirely symbolic. but their commander safaa khosro believes they can help their people. >> ( translated ): now we have only one unit. we need the help of the kurds. we have to increase our numbers. if we have enough forces we can protect the christians in this ninevah area. >> reporter: commanders here say these soldiers don't have enough heavy weaponry to hold positions at the front line permanently. instead, they are stationed here one mile from the front line and if there is an isis attack they move there quickly to back up peshmerga forces. for these soldiers the fight is very personal. this 23-year-old volunteer calls himself 'george.'
6:30 pm
his whole family fled their village, and he says isis fighters are now living in his home. and how does it feel to have isis living in your house? >> it's a bad feeling. so aggravated. so angry. so mad. since they started here and created this force i hear about it so i can and volunteered. to defend, to do everything. i really want to kill some of them. so it's like angry inside of me. angry what they did to us. >> reporter: he thinks there is too much bad blood here for things to be the same again. if daesh, or isis are defeated and are pushed out of mosul, is it going to be difficult for christian communities here to live side-by-side with their neighbors? >> yea, i think it's going to be hard. >> reporter: george blames his muslim neighbors for not
6:31 pm
standing up to isis. >> they saw a lot of bad things. and killing, kidnapping. so i don't think they can communicate with them again. >> reporter: the men practice house searches amongst the remnants of the very communities they hope to protect. this christian town emptied out in august 2014 when isis rushed in here and took over. soon after, the kurdish peshmerga forces pushed them out. but the 1,000 or so christian families who lived her never came back. the town now lies abandoned. some houses are being used to house peshmurga and christian forces. and the front line is about one mile in that direction. that's where isis positions are. it's now eerily silent here except for some war planes that fly overhead.
6:32 pm
a couple ofmiles away, where the ninevah plains meet mountains, the saint hormudz monastery retains the defensive position it has kept for over 1,500 years. from it's peaceful courtyard, the frontline of fighting can be seen in the distance. but it's a crumbling relic of christianity, empty of the vibrant people it once was built to serve. looking out over a land many in it's community feel is slipping away from them. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson, in northern iraq. >> woodruff: back to this country, and the 2016 presidential race. we want to take a closer look at significant issues shaping the campaigns. tonight: immigration. the plans for reform range from
6:33 pm
a tall border wall funded by mexico, to a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living here now. we dig into the issue and the role of latino voters with mark krikorian, executive director of the center for immigration studies, and author of the book, "the new case against immigration, both legal and illegal." frank sharry, founder of the immigration reform group america's voice, and brittney parker, a senior officer at the commonwealth foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank that promotes free market ideas. and we welcome all three of you to the news hour. mark krikorian, let me start with you first. let's talk about the republican candidates for president. what are they saying? how are they differing at this point you have ted cruz, donald trump and john kasich. how do they differ on the subject of immigration? >> there's actually a pretty
6:34 pm
wide range between them. kasich is probably much closer to the democratic candidates, wants amnesty for illegal immigrants and increase immigration. ted cruz is actually in a sense kind of in between, because trump has said in his published platform he wants to reduce immigration, among other things. i'm not sure he's read his own platform, but at least that's what it says in print. cruz is kind of in the middle. he's called for no increases in immigration, reforms in certain program, toughening of enforcement. so there is a pretty entered range, whereas on the democratic side, the two candidates pretty much agree on everything. >> woodruff: brittney parker, how do you see the public -- republican candidates on immigration? >> the thing is unfortunately for kasich, who is probably most in line with the majority of republican primary voters, despite what trump would say, is not many people know what kasich's immigration platform is. he just doesn't capture the headlines the way that cruz or
6:35 pm
trump does. cruz, much more in between the two candidates, i agree with mark on that, but increasingly moving to more hardline immigration stance, especially compared to where he was a few years ago. >> woodruff: frank sharry, how do you see voters so far in the republican primaries responding to these candidates? >> the animating issue is what to do about 11 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in america. trump has gone far beyond anything we've seen by saying he's going to round up and deport people within 18 to 24 months. a remarkable thing. the law gets a lot of attention, but the idea that we would have that kind of mass round-up of people who were settled in america, it would be one of the most outrageous human rights violations in modern world. >> woodruff: but he's still doing well in the world. he's still doing well.
6:36 pm
so mitt romney had a hardline policy that cost him big time with latino voters. that's why the rnc said we need a kinder, gentlerñi approach. >> woodruff: let's put the shoe on the other footed. on the democratic side, how do you see the difference between hillary clinton and bernie sanders and how do you see that break down? >> the interesting thing is there isn't any daylight between them. hillary was... seems to be moving further and further to the left on a variety of issues obviously, not just immigration, to compete with sanders, and they both have said in a recent debate explicitly, they said there is no one they would deport who wasn't convicted of a violent crime. in other words, they have said that every illegal immigrant here and every new illegal immigrant would be allowed to stay as long as they're not convicted of a violent crime. that's really a very extreme position and it's essentially the same between the two of them. >> woodruff: brittney parker, as a puerto rican woman who follows these issues very
6:37 pm
closely, how do you seeñr the democratic divide and how concerned are you for the republican party that it is not representing the views of those who believe the country needs to be more forgiving and more understanding when it comes to immigration. >> being part of the latino community, immigration is a top issue. almost everyone in the hispanic community knows someone affected by immigration. and part of the problem that you're seeingçó on the right ist even the hardline stance, which let's be honest, we're not going to deport 12 million people, it's the rhetoric, it's the selling of outrage in regard to these issues. it's a complete turn-off. it just pushes people away before they can even start to have the conversation about how to fix the broken immigration system. >> woodruff: frank sharry, respond to that and also to what one often hears about democrats, that they may be taking the latino, the hispanic vote for granted. >> yeah, i'm actually pleased. mark is right that both hillary
6:38 pm
clinton and bernie sanders are really leaning in, and they're trying to show the latino community that they're on their side in hopes of a big turnout, and i do think that, you know, they're exploiting a republican lurch to the right. we've never seen the difference between the two parties so wide. and the latino vote is going to be of consequence in a number of key swing states -- florida, colorado, nevada, north carolina, new mexico, virginia. honestly, this could be... the fact that the republicans have gone so far toward the extreme on immigration could really hurt them with a critical population that's going to help decide the election. >> woodruff: does that worry you, mark krikorian? >> well, i'm personally republican. my organization isn't. i'm looking at this from the outside. what frank is talking about could actually happen. there's no question that donald trump's rhetoric at the very least raises hackles on the parts of a lot of people, but, you know, all the political predictions about this election have been wrong up until now.
6:39 pm
i think there's a real possibility that the democratic candidates in their attempt to pander to hispanic voters or at least to hispanic activist organizations, are actually turning away a lot of their own voters who were otherwise predisposed to vote for democrats. that's what you're seeing a lot of trump support coming from people who are otherwise democrats. i don't think it's obvious what effect immigration will have. you're obviously always speculating until there is an election. this is much more fluid and much less predictable than any time in the past. >> woodruff: brittney parker, do do you agree with that? >> i agree that we're not sure what is going to happen, what exactly the role immigration will play in this election, but i would say that almost every major poll that's come out does show that the majority of americans do not support deportation of the 12 million, and they support some type of immigration reform. and, yes, about 40% of
6:40 pm
republican primary voters are supporting donald trump and his espoused rhetoric on deportation and lessening legal immigration, but that still leaves 60% of republican primary voters who are not in agreement with his stance. and the general electorate, that leaves moderates, libertarian, independent, democrats, who tend to disagree with donald trump on this issue of immigration. >> woodruff: you just made the point, mark krikorian, that you are a republican personally and that's not representative of your organization, but what does it mean for the republican party if donald trump were elected and carried out what he said he's going to do. >> first of all, he's not going to be deporting everybody. the interesting thing is when they take these exit polls about people supporting a path to citizenship, a lot of the people who are answering question to that are also trump's voters, in other words, i think people are missing understand what this whole question about do you support a path to citizenship means. i support a path to citizenship
6:41 pm
for some portion of illegal immigrants, so i could be answering yes, the question is, what do we do before that? how do we make sure if we do have an amnesty it's the last amnesty? no one trusts regular politicians to legalize illegal immigrants without creating a new problem in the future. and that is what a lot of trump's appeal is. >> woodruff: frank sharry, what's the main question for you going into this election when it comes to illegal immigration? >> are latinos going to turn out? are democrats and progressives going to invest in latino turnout? i think it could be a real game changer for democrats and progressives in this election. will donald trump get the nomination and what will he represent to latinos who are deeply offended when he calls hard-working mexicans criminals and drug dealers and rapists, when he says he's going to take citizenship away from their kids who were born here. i think we're going to see a referendum on immigration, on race and include where hispanic voters going to be decisive in
6:42 pm
elections. >> woodruff: well, we have months to go and much more to unfold about this issue. we thank you all three, frank sharry, mark krikorian and brittney parker. thank you. >> thanks. >> ifill: only two percent of children living in foster care will earn a college degree by the time they turn 25. we have the story tonight of a student in florida working to defy those odds, and to change them for others as well. the newshour's april brown has our profile, the second in a series of stories on foster care. it's part of our weekly series on education, "making the grade." >> reporter: last year at his high-school in orlando, florida, james turner was known by many for his blazing speed in the 400-meter dash. he was dedicated and driven, and
6:43 pm
several college track coaches had taken notice. but what many didn't know was that james was running a far more difficult race off the track. >> you know before five they said i lived in 17 different foster homes and that's >> reporter: james turner has never really had what most people take for granted: what they call in foster care a forever family placed in care at just 18-months old, james was separated from all three of his siblings by the time he was five, and has had little contact with any of his family ever since. at eight, he almost was adopted by a family he loved that was moving to jamaica but at the last minute he decided he couldn't do it. a decision he still regrets. james says the next foster home was a violent place: >> the dad of the home he beat me a lot and his kids also and other kids that he took into the system. and he said his excuse was and i remember he was always telling us, 'well my foster mom did it
6:44 pm
so i'm going to do it to you.' >> reporter: in another foster home, james says the father set mousetraps in front of the refrigerator after he caught the children sneaking extra food. >> i remember the guy he showed us with a carrot. he said if you come out here at night and take food from the refrigerator again this is what will happen to your finger. and we watched the carrot get broken in half. >> reporter: by the age of 12, james was living mainly in group homes, something that often happens according to betsey bell, who runs orlando's foundation for foster children, an organization that has helped james since high school. >> as kids grow older if they are not adopted out by the age of 9 then their chance of being adopted and being part of a forever family are much smaller and so what we see though is at that same time when kids are getting older they are going to group homes because there is just not enough foster homes. >> reporter: as he grew up, james changed group homes and schools several times. but he learned how advocate for himself, and for other kids in care. >> he was the big brother, he was the one that kids would go to. they knew james would help them.
6:45 pm
>> reporter: but james found few adults he could really trust. >> i find myself examining people and observing things. i think it scarred me for the rest of my life because i cannot go throughout the day without trying having to try to figure somebody out. who is directly involved in my life. >> reporter: that slowly began to change when james arrived at orlando's boone high school. he wanted to go out for track, but didn't have track shoes. the staff at the foundation for foster care got him a pair. and then he met the school's college counselor, weeze cullen. he told her he wanted to go straight to florida state university after graduation and earn a business degree. >> i think it's much more common for students in the foster system to be working on just graduating high school. >> reporter: in fact, national studies show only about half of students in foster care in the u.s. graduate from high-school. fewer than one in ten enroll in college at all, fewer still in four-year schools. but james drove himself to beat those odds, and he and cullen
6:46 pm
began outlining a plan to get him to f.s.u. but some unexpected hurdles emerged. that i think they were unfamiliar because they don't send students to four year schools and so i'm not sure that that's something that they spend a lot of time doing because it just doesn't happen. >> reporter: but for james, it did happen. >> reporter: and even university president john thrasher wanted to congratulate him. today, the 19-year-old recently began his second semester and says he wouldn't have made it if not for cullen. >> before her i felt like f.s.u. was out of reach. and you know she made it more reasonable and she made it seem a lot more possible. >> reporter: james' tuition and fees are paid for by the state because he went through florida's foster care system.
6:47 pm
he also was admitted into a program specifically designed to ease the transition to college for first generation students. f.s.u.'s center for academic retention and enhancement, known as 'care,' helps with financial aid and has dedicated advisors and other resources available for the student's entire college career. >> there are so many needs that they have that the typical college student doesn't have. >> reporter: sally mcrorie is f.s.u.'s provost: >> we have students in this group who are food insecure so we've had a food bank, a food pantry that we offer, we have students who have nowhere to go on break when the resident halls are closed down so we work, to >> reporter: that's frequently a problem for foster youth like james . when he decided to return to orlando for winter break, he didn't know at first where he'd stay. but then two families he met last spring at a fundraiser for the foundation for foster care opened their doors to him. james spent his holidays visiting both. >> it's so weird to be in a
6:48 pm
family setting again after being in group homes for so long. when families are blessed you use those blessings to bless >> reporter: on our way back to tallahassee and f.s.u., james shared his most ambitious plan of all. he wants to use his business degree to reform the state's foster care system and hopes to develop an app and website specifically for the kids. >> they can relate and share their experiences at different group homes, they can even rate group homes, they can rate caseworkers, they can rate staff, they can rate all this stuff, they can rate their judges, they can rate their experiences that they had in different foster homes and different foster parents. >> reporter: but he says above all, he wants to help make sure kids in the system get one thing they all need. >> at least one person who cares.
6:49 pm
>> reporter: today, james has given up running competitively, focusing his free time instead on speaking to both large groups. and smaller ones, like here at the florida united methodist children's home outside orlando. james never lived in this group home, but he offered their foster youth guidance on life in college. >> you get into college and you hear these little girls and guys complaining about having to live with roommates and i was like dude i had to live in group homes my all my life. i had group homes worst than this. this is nothing. >> reporter: his story has also inspired many at florida state, >> these students deserve our help. they will be great, just like james. they will be great spokespeople, they will be movers and shakers in future communities and all they need is a little bit of help to do that. >> reporter: that's a sentiment james couldn't agree with more.
6:50 pm
>> these kids will be driven because they want to make a name for themselves. you know foster care and the group homes and foster homes are gold mines for our nation and >> reporter: and at this point in his life, james has found a different kind of forever family. >> every kid you know that was in foster care, every kid that i could relate with what i can relate to you know they are my family now, they are adopted into me and i'm adopted into them. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm april brown in florida. >> woodruff: finally tonight, a newshour essay. as we reported earlier president obama today announced plans to expand drug treatment centers and increase the use of drugs that reverse the effect of opioids including heroin, oxycontin and percocet. communities across the country are developing new approaches to this epidemic in an attempt to support addicts helping them into treatment instead of arrest.
6:51 pm
cardozo law school professor ekow yankah compares today's embrace of heroin users to the tough on crime response to those using crack. >> that kroger, the midwestern grocery chain, has decided to make the overdose-reversal drug naloxone available without a prescription is a sign of how ominous the current heroin epidemic has grown. faced with a rising wave of addiction, misery, crime and death, our nation, has linked arms to save souls. senators and c.e.o.'s, midwest pharmacies and even tough on crime republican presidential candidates now speak with moving compassion about the real people crippled by addiction. it wasn't always this way. 30 years ago america was facing a similar wave of addiction, death and crime and the response could not have been more different. television brought us endless images of thin, black, ravaged bodies, always with desperate, dry lips. we learned the words "crack baby." back then, when addiction was a
6:52 pm
black problem, there was no wave of national compassion. instead, we were warned of "super predators," young, faceless black men wearing bandannas and sagging jeans. >> no matter how far from our lives crack was, were guilty by association. by the time i was in college in the early 1990s, my short dreadlocks meant older women would cross the street to avoid me. african-americans were cast as pathological; their plight was evidence of collective moral failure-- of welfare mothers and rock-slinging thugs-- and a reason to cut off all help. blacks would just have to pull themselves out of the crack epidemic. until then, the only answer lay in cordoning off the wreckage with militarized policing. today, police chiefs facing heroin addiction are responding not by invoking war but trying to save lives and get people into rehab. suddenly, crime is understood as a sign of underlying addiction, rather than a scourge to be eradicated. one former narcotics officers said, "these are people.
6:53 pm
they have a purpose in life and we can't look at them any other way," but couldn't he couldn't put his finger on just what had changed. his words reflect our collective self-denial. it is hard to describe how bittersweet many african- americans feel witnessing this. glad to be rid of a failed war on drugs? yes. but also weary and embittered. when the face of addiction had dark skin, the police did not see sons and daughters, sister and brothers. they saw "brothas," young thugs to be locked up, not "people with a purpose in life." no one laments the violence that the "crack bomb" set off more than african-americans. but how we respond to the crimes accompanying addiction depends on how much we care about those affected. white heroin addicts get overdose treatment, rehabilitation and reincorporation. black drug users got jail cells and "just say no." it would be perverse to want to go back and this is not just about racial guilt. the hope is that we really can learn from our meanest moments.
6:54 pm
this stark moment gives us the opportunity to quit our dedication to ignoring racism. next time we, or even you, are faced with the indictment of institutionalized racism, maybe we can swallow the knee-jerk dismissal or the condescending finger-wagging and imagine if you would accept such treatment of your own. we do not have to wait until a problem has a white face to answer with humanity. >> ifill: tune in tonight, on "frontline," a rare look at what life is really like inside the saudi kingdom. "saudi arabia uncovered" shows the ruling regime uses harsh tactics to quell protests and goes to great lengths to prevent any imagery of dissent from making its way to the outside world. frontline airs tonight on most pbs stations. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm gwen ifill. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
6:55 pm
♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
6:56 pm
>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
ncht this is "nightly business report" with tyler mathisen and sue herera. >> i consider it appropriate to the committee to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy. >> the chair has the floor. the federal reserve janet yellen in major speech tells investors and her feds colleagues to chill the hot talk about higher interest rates. controlling the pain. the white house out lines new initiatives and new money to fight the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse. tax tips. whether you're a newlywed or just retired, your finances are changing and so will your annual return to uncle sam. all that and more tonight on "night b

53 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on